Maimonides honors patients at National Cancer Survivors Day celebration

June 21, 2018 Ariama Long
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Valets waited on the grand red carpet outside the Dyker Beach Golf Course on June 13, to welcome guests to Maimonides Medical Center’s theater-themed 12th annual blowout for National Cancer Survivors Day honoring cancer survivors and patients.

Underneath a tent, overlooking the links, were crowded tables decorated with playbills and star balloons. People enjoyed lavish food and the live band comprised of Maimonides physicians, including Director of the Brooklyn Breast Cancer Program Dr. Patrick Borgen on keyboard.

Sharon Spencer, mother, NBA Barclays Center honoree and breast cancer survivor, said, “I’ve been coming here for seven years. I always find time for it.”

Additional attractions included a red carpet photo shoot, Mr. Met, a fresh popcorn booth and a Broadway section with face-painting for kids.

“It’s amazing to be around such positive energy and people,” said Bensonhurst native Melissa Bontimino, 34. “That’s something people like me who fought, are still fighting, and are going to be fighting in the future need to be around.”

Bontimino was engaged in December, 2016 and found a lump in her breast the next year, effectively postponing her wedding. Now in remission, Bontimino — an advocate for more women to be aware of the potential threat of breast cancer — said that the medical center had determined that no genes, receptors, or hormones could have caused her illness.

The event celebrated the milestones achieved by survivors and patients, as well as acknowledging the family members, friends and healthcare professionals who have supported them along the way.

Chief of Breast Surgery Donna-Marie Manasseh, who is also Bontimino’s oncologist and surgeon, said, “Your patients come in and you’re focusing on care but you don’t really see them outside of that, except here. So I love coming to this event.”

Dyker Beach Golf Course is located at 86th Street and Seventh Avenue.

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